Greetings from Sunny Texas,
Like all too many Johnston/es I'm looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack with
both of my hands tied behind my back. My interests are:
1. Francis "Frank" Johnston, b. ca. 1805 in Ireland, married Frances
"Fanny" Hud ca. 1825. They went to Upper Canada settling in Prescott Co. ca.
1826. I believe that Frank and Fanny were married in Ireland. The 1861 Canadian census
indicates that she was born in Ireland. Frank and Fanny settled on a farm that was owned
by a George Johnson [sic] according to the 1822 Assessment Roll. I have no other
information on George. He does not appear on the 1827 Assessment Roll which is the first
year that Francis appears on it. Some oral family history views Fanny with a chuckle -
she was known as a "social climber" and told anyone who would listen that her
husband was English...not Irish or Scottish. Frank was a successful farmer but died from
a heart condition at age 51.
2. Robert "Red Robin" Johnston, b. ca. 1807 in Ireland, went to Upper Canada
ca. 1832. My gggrandfather married Mary "Mae" Frances McQueen in 1833.
3. Archibald "Archie" Johnston, b. 1815 in Ireland, went to Upper Canada ca.
1832 with Robert (above) who was either his brother, cousin or uncle - take your choice as
oral family histories are very divergent on this subject. I believe that they were
In addition a brother, name unknown, was lost to illness either on the voyage to Upper
Canada with Robert and Archibald or shortly after they arrived in Quebec. A married
sister, name unknown, was said to have remained behind in Ireland with her husband.
The Assessment Roll of 1834 for Upper Canada shows a Catherine Johnston living with
Francis and Frances Johnston and the Assessment Roll of 1835 shows a Thomas Johnston
living with Francis and Frances Johnston. Both Catherine and Thomas are recorded only one
time each. I have no other information on them. I suspect that they were adult members
of Frank's family, possibly a brother and sister who had come over from Ireland
I refer to Francis, Robert and Archibald as the "Wee Three" as all were said to
have been tall with my gggrandfather coming in at 6'-5" - the same height as my
son incidentally. All owned farms in Upper Canada (now N. Plantagenet Twp., Prescott Co.,
Ontario) within walking distance of each other and close to the town of Pendleton. We have
no locations in Ireland for any of the Wee Three; however, various sources of oral family
history have them coming from all over the island - Ballymena, Londonderry, Tara, Co.
Donegal and Co. Cork being mentioned. To make matters even more frustrating is that in
the 1920's 2 of my Dad's aunts visited Ireland, found all of our Johnston kin
buried (none surviving), made a journal containing their burial details, and now no one
knows what has happened to the journal or where the 2 sisters visited.
Ca. 1905-1910 a sailor came to my ggrandfather's farm searching for a Johnston. He
had been hired by a solicitor in Ireland. The last of our Johnstons had died leaving no
surviving kin in Ireland and a small estate. He may have been an inn owner. My
grandfather moved about this time to a better farm in Clarence Twp., Russell Co., Ontario,
Canada, on what is now Johnston Road.
Oral family history indicates that Red Robin's father was born in Scotland, moved to
Ireland, married, raised a family and died in Ireland - no name or locations though.
Y-DNA testing identifies us as Danish Viking who settled in Scotland. A Y-DNA cousin has
his Danish Viking Johnstones placed at Poldean (a large farm in Scotland) and as members
of the Old Gang of Wamphray who fought successfully at Dryfe Sands. When Poldean passed
from Johnstone ownership ca. 1743 the family seems to have split up and moved on within a
generation or so. Most of my newfound Y-DNA cousins have their ancestors leaving Scotland
about this time and going to England, Ireland, Upper Canada, and the U.S.A..
We have Y-DNA tests linking Robert and Francis but no oral family history. We have oral
family history linking Robert and Archibald but no Y-DNA tests.
I have had some very good luck in finding old family photographs and have restored some.
The Johnston Family Album may be viewed at:
Robert "Red Robin"
Johnston and Mary "Mae" McQueen had 16 children of whom 13 survived, and I'm
fortunate to have photographs of Red Robin, Mae and 11 of their children.
If any of the above sounds familiar or you have any information on any of the above,
please, don't be bashful, contact me...ASAP... :-)
"May the best you've ever seen,
Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay